While most people consider these words as a link to the likes of alcohol,drugs, or some kind of destructive element. I see, these words as more of an inspiration. Positive influences can come from our understanding and enrichment of traditional and ceremonial beliefs, family, friends, music, literature, art, travel, nature, and so forth. As I child, I grew up on and off the reservation as my Dad was in the United States Marine Corps, for more than twenty years. So, within that time frame, I was exposed to all sorts of interesting things. Two in particular; the love for Modern Art and Classical Music. Both of which were introduced to me during a presentation at my Preschool in San Clemente, California. Luckily, when it came time to move back to the Pueblo in New Mexico, I had the honor of living with my grandparents and uncles, in the Village of Paguate on the Pueblo of Laguna. It was probably one of the most happiest times of my life. It also helped that one of my uncle's, also appreciated classical music as much as I did. It was there, that I learned about the traditional aspects of art and Pueblo imagery from my grandma that did embroidery. On several occasions we would, visit with my Zuni relatives and see their elaborate works, created in the finest silver and turquoise.
My own pathway of influences, has had many twists and turns; some for the better ( the birth of my two children ) and some for the worse ( the untimely death of my two-year-old son ). But, for each of these life experiences, there is also a formation of a fragment, which then develops into an image on to a piece of canvas or on to a piece of wood." Traditional stories and Pueblo beliefs have always played an important role in the creation of my imagery - birth, death, rebirth, a reflection of a prayer, or a fragment of a story, a place where deities dwell. Currently, I find inspiration in all aspects of nature from animal forms, to the various landscapes surrounding the village of Paguate, the dark red mesa's of Zuni Pueblo, the sacred Mt. Taylor, or the former Jackpile Uranuim Mine.
De Haven Solimon Chaffins was born in Portsmouth Virginia and is an enrolled member of the Laguna and Zuni Pueblo. She attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe New Mexico and received an Associate of Fine Arts Degree in 1990; in 1995 she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the College of Fine Arts, University of New Mexico.